May 2008 – Avram Grant was comforting John Terry after the Chelsea captain missed a penalty in the Champions League final, losing to Manchester United after a shootout. Grant was sacked that summer by Roman, despite reaching the final and finishing second, two point behind Manchester United. Grant seemed to have made a name for himself in a very shot while, landing the Chelsea dream job from nowhere (some sort of technical consultant under Mourinho). He was sure a big offer was coming.
November 2010 – West Ham players go off the Upton Park pitch after a goalless draw with Blackpool. Grant’s side has 9 points after 13 league matches, winning only once, scoring 11 goals and have the worst goal difference (along with Wigan) in the Premier League. Earlier this week, rumors told that Grant was given an ultimatum to win the next two matches in order to keep his job. He already drew with Blackpool, and as usual, complained about the refs, right after saying he doesn’t normally comment about the men with the whistle. Next up are Liverpool, who have problems of their own, but are still massive favorites to beat the hammers.
Grant stayed with Portsmouth last season till the bitter end, with all the financial problems and the docking of points, fighting a lost battle till the bitter end. He won a lot of fans during the season, but lost many when he left Pompy and didn’t join them in their renewed acquaintance with the Championship. Grant feels he deserved a top class offer after his time with Chelsea. It didn’t come. West Ham put their money on Grant. So far it hasn’t been working. Maybe it’s Grant’s fault, maybe it’s a squad that really should be bottom of the Premiership. Personally, I don’t think West Ham are the worst team in the league, but they’re certainly in the bottom six in terms of quality. Still, as we wrote on the season’s opening day, Grant shouldn’t be managing them.
Him being Israeli and not English or from a nation with a richer footballing history doesn’t make him any less of a capable manager than others, but there’s nothing else that has shown he’s better than anyone else. He’s gotten the Chelsea job through complete chance and probably connections, courtesy of Mr. Zehavi and same goes for the Pompy and West Ham job. He shouldn’t be managing West Ham in the first place, he doesn’t deserve it. Are there better managers than him, available and willing? That’s not certain, but maybe there is Karma in the world of football. It’s not looking good for West Ham right now, and it probably won’t be for a while. A loss next week against Liverpool will probably end Grant’s job at East London.
Grant won three league titles in Israel and wasn’t far from leading Israel to the 2006 World Cup, finishing the qualifying campaign undefeated in a group that included France, Ireland and Switzerland. He doesn’t want to go back to Israel it seems and at the age of 55 he doesn’t feel like slumming and work hard, from the bottom, lets say a mediocre Championship club, to build a name for himself in England. Despite the season at Chelsea, people weren’t fooled. Maybe it’s because he’s an outsider, maybe he just didn’t impress anyone. It probably still was Mourinho’s team and Grant did well just by not messing up. Still, his luck, which is famous in Israel, seems to be running out. Unless he plans on going down a tier in English football, his time as a manager in England will be up very soon.